While there are a few different routes you can take to drive between Los Angeles and Las Vegas that would allow you to visit places such as Joshua Tree or Death Valley National Park, this road trip is the most direct and quickest route with only a few minor detours.
This does not mean a lack of awesome attractions because as you will see from the driving itinerary below, there are loads of fun and interesting places to see and stop on your way to Las Vegas that will take up an entire day of driving.
The driving distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is 290 miles and takes approximately four and a half hours (calculated from LAX airport) without any stops. We have provided enough information about each attraction for you to decide whether it’s worth your time to stop and explore or not, however it is in our opinion that you should try to make time for all of these fun stops.
The old saying, ‘It’s not about the destination, its the journey to get there’ really applies to this road trip because you can start your memorable experience even before hitting Las Vegas. So fill your tank up, and get ready to visit some really cool places!
Best Stops Between L.A. & Las Vegas
Los Angeles To Victorville – 100 miles
What better way to kick off your road trip along parts of Route 66 other than visiting a museum on the history of the famous road itself?
Inside the California Route 66 Museum you will find all sorts of route 66 exhibits and memorabilia that will allow you to relive the days of yesteryear. There are all sorts of surprising displays here such as a 50’s diner setting and VW Love Bus complete with hippy wings that are great for photo opportunities.
The staff are very friendly and more than happy to talk to you about the store’s collection and local history if you are interested. The museum is free and open Thursday to Monday. There is also a gift store here full of Route 66 merchandise to help you remember your road trip.
Victorville To Oro Grand – 12 miles
Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is what American road trips are all about! Quirky and unusual roadside attractions! So let’s thank Elmer Long for providing motorists with such an interesting and fun place to visit in an otherwise barren and empty landscape.
Located along the famous route 66, the Bottle Tree Ranch is the coolest place you will visit on this road trip so be sure not to miss the detour.
The place is literally a forest of colorful glass bottles tree’s. There are hundreds of old glass bottle’s hanging from metal pipes that look really beautiful in the desert sunlight. The outdoor attraction is free to enter but they do accept donations.
Oro Grand To Yermo – 35 miles
It’s hard to miss the jukebox shaped entrance of Peggy Sue’s diner as you drive along the I-15 through Yermo. This old-school diner was originally built in 1954 and sits in the shadows of the Calico Mountains.
The building is divided into two sections as you walk in through the entrance with the restaurant on the right-hand side and a 50’s themed gift shop and candy store to the left. You can enjoy typical diner style food on the menu including burgers, fries, milkshakes, and apple pies. There is even an area out back with ten-foot tall dinosaur statues that the kids will surely enjoy.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for the exit to Peggy Sue’s if you would like to visit but it’s easy to find as there are big road signs along the way to let you know when to get off the freeway.
Yermo To Yermo – 5 miles
Calico is a former mining town that was founded in 1881 during the last silver strike in California. When silver lost it’s value in the mid-1890’s, Calico lost all of it’s residents and turned into a ghost town.
It was not until the 1950’s when Walter Knott purchased the abandoned town and architecturally restored most of the original buildings to look as they did in it’s hey day. Now known as Calico Ghost Town, the attraction is a State Historical Landmark and a popular tourist destination.
Visitor’s can learn all about the town’s history and what it is like to mine for silver and pan for gold through a self-guided tour of the Maggie Mine and other attractions the park offers. The Calico Ghost Town has shops, restaurants, and even a campground if you’re looking to extend your stay.
Yermo To Baker – 55 miles
The ‘World’s Tallest Thermometer’ is a landmark you can see in the small town of Baker which considers itself the gateway to Death Valley National Park.
The structure was created as a tribute to the highest ever recorded temperature of 134 degrees that was reached in Death Valley during the year of 1913. The thermometer stands at 134 feet high of course and is a fun place to stop and get a quick picture.
Baker has a few fast food restaurants if you’re feeling hungry or you could grab some beef jerk from the quirky Alien Fresh Jerky store.
Baker To Goodsprings – 70 miles
Pioneer Saloon is one of the oldest bars in Nevada and use to be frequented by Clark Gable and other old world Hollywood celebrities back in the day. In fact, it was even featured in many wild west themed movies and television shows.
The saloon was built in 1913 and was a favorite with local miner’s. Inside you will find an intimate atmosphere and decor that displays original newspaper clippings and other memorabilia on the walls.
The interior and exterior walls are made of stamped tin and it is believed to be one of the last, if not the last of its kind in the United States.
Goodsprings To South Las Vegas – 12 miles
The Seven Magic Mountains, sometimes known as the Neon Rocks, is probably the most popular roadside stop for motorists between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The brightly colored art installation is located only twenty minutes south of Las Vegas and is a must stop if you enjoy taking pictures of unusual attractions or if you are wanting some interesting material for your social media.
The final stop on your road trip is Las Vegas. However, your adventure is only beginning because Las Vegas has tons of things to do, even for the non-gambler!
Whether this is your first time to Vegas or fifth, there is never a shortage of things to do. New attractions, venue’s, restaurants, and shows are constantly popping up or being added in Sin City.
Not only that, but there are plenty of natural attractions and places you can visit just outside of the city and other road trips you could begin from here.
Tips for this Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip
- Bring plenty of snacks because gas stations are few and far between.
- It can get extremely hot in summer so bring plenty of water with you.
- Expect heavy traffic leaving Los Angeles if you depart Friday afternoon.
- Expect heavy traffic leaving Las Vegas if you depart Sunday evening.